How can you flourish without trying to constantly fix yourself?
On many occasions, I said to myself: I will not let this self-improvement culture make me feel like there’s always something wrong with me. It just feels like a never-ending journey. Can you relate?
Self-development is a huge business. Companies make millions out of making you believe that you are less than. Out of fear of not being good enough, you may think that you need just one more coaching session, just another course, or another technique to fix yourself. But I believe that good practices can be developed from a place of abundance and in order to flourish rather than from the fear of not being accepted.
After many years on the self-growth journey, I realised that the key is to be able return to our original nature – which can look different for all of us.
What does that authentic self look like? To me, she is a girl full of sunshine and courage, with a positive outlook on the world and the people in it and as non-judgemental as it comes at a young age.
I want her back. I want me back before layers of protection (in the shape of people-pleasing and conflict-avoidant habitual patterns) were added on top by life.
As a guide, I often look at my six-year-old nephew who laughs throwing his head back even though his two front teeth are currently missing. He doesn’t care. He would never stop laughing or cover his mouth just to satisfy somebody else’s expectations of him or his smile.
In my experience, developing authenticity comes more naturally when we feel into our bodies fully. When we can welcome everything life throws at us, we know and have the deep trust in ourselves that we can deal with it all.
What are my main tools to achieve that trust?
I use my discernment constantly by pausing and tuning into my body.
I have clear values to live by but I am also open and curious when those values are challenged.
I keep asking questions and never assume that I know the full picture.
I use empathy and compassion but also clear boundaries in relation to others.
I use embodied practices to regulate my nervous system and to develop a balanced emotional state. I try to fully experience and embrace all my emotions and feelings.
I move, rest and eat nourishing food daily.
And this might be controversial–but I work on developing a healthy ego. (We constantly hear from the spiritual circles that our egos are bad and we should transcend them. Please, don’t! Unless you live in an ashram.)
Using the above tools in a relaxed manner, we can develop skills to allow our authentic self and full potential to be expressed fully, instead of constantly pushing to be good enough.
I don’t get it right 100% of the time, but that’s okay, too. It’s called self-compassion.
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